Lakota

Walter Littlemoon is a 69-year-old Lakota man born and raised in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. At the age of five, he was removed from his family to attend a Federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed.

Broken by the legacy of colonialism, Lakota Tribes struggle for restoration, healing and rebuilding. This film is a conversation between the elder and younger generations about reclaiming their stories and culture. By looking at traditional family structure, spirituality, language and values, they hope to build a vision for the future.

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Even though nearly all of 1973 America knew of the occupation of the little village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation and came to know of the atrocious conditions under which many of the Lakota people lived out their lives, time has faded memories.

Crying Earth Rise Up is a film by Suree Towfighnia of Prairie Dust Films with consulting producer Debra White Plume (Oglala). The name of the film comes from an old belief of the Lakota that Mother Earth needs to be cared for through good stewardship of the land—caring for its natural resources.

The location for the documentary is on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation—the land of the Oglala Lakota—on the South Dakota-Nebraska border.

Kevin Locke (Anishinabe/Lakota) got his start as a Native flutist with songs from a vinyl record titled "Sioux Favorites." From there, he learned to play flute from Elders who knew other traditional Native flute music.

Kevin was inspired by many artists growing up because his mother, Patricia Locke, worked with numerous Native American tribes to establish colleges, promote educational programs on reservations, and aid in the restoration of Native American culture and languages.

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Last month I joined Lakota Language Consortium (LLC) linguist and executive director Wil Meya and dozens of other Vision Maker Media-supported documentary producers in Minneapolis, MN for a lively series of workshops, and the chance to attend the incredible annual conference of the National Alliance for Media and Culture.

Jennifer is Oneida and Lakota. She was raised mostly in Wisconsin close to her Oneida culture. Jennifer's Oneida name is Wakoshi.yo and it translates to "a bird with colorful feathers," or "peacock." She participated in the traditional Oneida naming ceremony and was given her name from her grandmother. Jennifer incorporated her Oneida name in her artwork and named her website after it.

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Thanks again to the great Vision Maker Media staff for putting on the Workshop! It provided tons of useful insights into film-project planning and marketing. We can't wait to start putting some of it into action. Also, it was great meeting everyone and hearing about all your projects! I think there was a lot of mutual-inspiration happening and some of these connections will definitely be revisited.

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We screened Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge on five different occasions at a total of four different venues both on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation in May 2012. The goal of this project was to have a dialogue with students and teachers about our film. Did we hit the mark? Did we miss it? Did we film in a culturally competent manner? During the screenings we were able to have fruitful conversations with students about how we could improve on our storytelling techniques in the future.

Since America's inception, dynastic families have significantly influenced American history.  Names like Kennedy, Hearst, and Rockefeller are forever tied to American politics, media and business; their legacies well documented, their names widely known. But filmmaker Eli Cane believes there is room for one more dynastic American family, a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family: The Dull Knifes.

It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office. In fact, if there's something everyone agrees on, regardless of political philosophy, it's that candidates need to make a swing through the reservation more often.

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It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office.

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Five Vision Maker Media Films Streaming Free in November on PBS

Watch these films during November, just click on the link to watch.

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• Veterans' Day Special - Free viewings: Nov. 9-12 on VMM's YouTube Channel
• Native Documentaries on Special for November
• Filmmaker Challenges: Importance of Protecting Creativity
• Celebrating 50 Years of Public Broadcasting
• Filmmaker Opportunities
• Upcoming Film Screenings
•To Edit or Not to Edit Your Own FIlms: Wat's Your Choice?
• Find Us On the Road